New Jersey is one of only two states with gubernatorial elections this year, so the eyes — and the wallets — of the nation are focused on the Garden State.
The state Election Law Enforcement Commission has said that this year’s primary is on its way to becoming the most expensive in New Jersey history. As of its last campaign reporting date, May 8, the 11 major-party hopefuls had already raised about $22 million in just their candidate accounts, excluding outside committees. While 88 percent of that money came from New Jerseyans, people from 36 other states and the District of Columbia, as well as the United Kingdom, also contributed.
Democratic frontrunner Phil Murphy was responsible for roughly two-thirds of the total amount contributed as of the 29-day pre-primary reports. The $15.1 million he has spent on his campaign is unrivaled in size. But Murphy has also been the primary beneficiary of money contributed by each of the states that has given the most to New Jersey’s candidates this year.
These are the 10 states from which candidates had gotten the most money as of May 8:
1. New Jersey, $19.3 million
It should not be surprising that most money funding the state’s candidates came from New Jerseyans, and Murphy’s deep pockets added to the large total. All seven candidates for whom campaign data was available got money from those living in their home state. Including the money he gave to his own campaign, Murphy has gotten $17.3 million from state residents.
2. New York, $1.4 million
New Jersey’s next-door neighbor came in second, which should be expected due to Wall Street’s traditional penchant for political donations. All candidates got at least some money from New Yorkers. A former executive with Goldman Sachs, Murphy got the lion’s share, $812,000, from Empire State sources.
3. California, $195,000
Although they’re on the other side of the country, Californians are often generous political donors. This is the only one of the top 10 contributing states not on the East Coast. Five candidates received contributions from Californians and, again, Murphy was the major beneficiary, getting just under $100,000 from state sources.
4. Washington, D.C., $176,000
Lobbyists and residents of the nation’s capital are also open-handed contributors to campaigns and have given to five of New Jersey’s gubernatorial hopefuls. Murphy got $8 of every $10 in contributions, for a total of $145,000.
5. Florida, $140,000
This popular retirement state for displaced New Jerseyans gave more than half of its total contributions to Murphy, or about $89,000. Five other candidates also got money from the Sunshine State.
6. Pennsylvania, $134,000
The total from New Jersey’s western neighbor was close behind Florida’s. Of the six candidates getting some money, Murphy got the most — more than $89,000 from this state’s residents.
7. Massachusetts, $104,000
The state where Murphy was born supported him with almost $82,000 in contributions. Only two other candidates got money from there.
8. Virginia, $101,000
The only other state holding a gubernatorial election this year was able to send some money to Jersey’s campaigners. Six candidates received contributions from Virginians. Murphy got about three-quarters of the total, or more than $75,000.
9. Connecticut, $81,000
Residents of the Nutmeg state contributed to six of the candidates in both parties, with Murphy getting almost $57,000.
10. Maryland, $73,000
Four candidates shared the wealth, with almost $56,000 going to Murphy.